Happy Monday everyone! For today’s recipe, we’re making one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia, fried rice! And I know what you’re thinking, how different can it be than your regular Chinese takeout fried rice? Well, my friend, Indonesian fried rice, or nasi goreng, is filled with so many flavours that cannot be found in any other kind of fried rice. Indonesian dishes are known to be super bold and flavourful, and it definitely shows in our fried rice too! It’s spicy, it’s salty, it’s sweet, it’s just plain delicious!
When I was living in Indonesia, they would always serve the fried rice in a particular way in the restaurants. They’d put the rice in the middle, with some fried egg on top, and they would put additional sides around the rice like shrimp crackers (krupuk) and veggies. As a kid, I found it super fun to eat! And that’s what we’re trying to recreate today! Bringing in those exotic, tropical flavours from Indonesia in your home!
Let’s start with the ingredients, which are the most important part of this recipe! In order to make an Indonesian fried rice, there is one very important ingredient that you MUST have. And that’s kecap manis, or Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It’s thick, sweet soy sauce that contains molasses and that gives the fried rice that unique, sweet and savoury flavour. You can find it in some Asian supermarkets, which is where we bought ours, but you can also buy them online if you cannot get a hold of them in your area.
We were inspired in parts by our family’s recipe and Hot Thai Kitchen’s version of Indonesian fried rice, which we found to be really well developed! In this recipe, we used shrimp paste, which if you’re not used to can be very pungent and strong. But we do suggest you put in at least a little bit, since it gives the fried rice more layers of rich flavours. We also used sambal terasi in our version, which is Indonesian chilli sauce mixed with shrimp paste. It’s just our own preference, so you can definitely use chili sauce of your choice as long as they’re not too sweet!
The sides are also what makes Indonesian fried rice unique. The fried egg is a must, since they do add some rich texture to the dish as whole. We also usually eat it with krupuk, or crackers. Our favourite is shrimp crackers, but you can choose another kind such as tapioca or fish crackers, which are also very delicious! It is a bit hard to get a hold of Indonesian crackers even in Asian supermarkets, but they do sell Indonesian shrimp crackers online too. The crackers add some crunch and texture to the fried rice, but they’re completely optional. So if you can’t get a hold of it, it’s definitely fine, your nasi goreng is still going to be delicious!
Hope you try this recipe for fried rice, because it’s definitely different and unique in flavours. Some of the ingredients are a bit harder to get, but if you do plan to cook a lot of Southeast Asian food, they’re definitely worth buying! As usual, if you have any questions or suggestions for what recipe we should do next, feel free to leave a comment below! If you’re interested in other Indonesian recipes, make sure to check out our Indonesian cheese croquettes recipe. Hope you enjoy and happy eating!
Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 shallot minced
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp Indonesian sweet soy sauce
- 1 tsp chili sauce of your choice
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped red or green chilies optional
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 whole eggs
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp green onions chopped
- 8 slices cucumber
- Shrimp crackers optional
- Sliced cucumbers optional
In a food processor, combine the garlic, shallots, and shrimp paste to form a paste. Transfer paste into a small bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the Indonesian sweet soy sauce, fish sauce, and chili sauce.
In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium high heat and fry the eggs sunny side up, until the edges are brown and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the shrimp crackers, deep-fry the crackers in 350 degree Fahrenheit oil until they are completely bloomed and crispy. Drain off excess oil and set aside
In a pan or a wok, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook the garlic-shallot-shrimp paste until aromatic and garlic and shallots are tender. Add in the chopped chillies and cook for about 20 seconds. Add in the white rice and stir well. Pour in the sweet soy sauce mixture and mix until well combined and the rice is evenly coloured. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the heat on high and continue to stir until the fried rice is dry. Remove from heat and place on a plate. Place fried eggs on top of the rice and serve with shrimp crackers. Garnish with green onions and some cucumbers on the side.